Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst
AIVD — short for Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (General
Intelligence and Security Service) — is the civil
intelligence and security agency
of the Netherlands,
tasked with domestic, foreign and signals
intelligence and protecting national security.
The name AIVD was introduced in 2002 after its predecessor
– Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD) (Domestic Security Service) –
had taken over the tasks of the Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (IDB)
(Foreign Intelligence Service).
Although the history of intelligence services in the Netherlands
dates back to before World War I (1913), the AIVD lists 29 May 1945
as its official birthday, as that is the day on which
— at the end of World War II — the Temporary
Military Authority established the
BNV — Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau), a year later
renamed CVD — Centrale Veiligheidsdienst. In 1949, the agency was
and finally in 2002 AIVD, the name that is still used today.
The AIVD resides under the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and
Kingdom Relations .
It has approx. 2000 employees (2019) and an annual budget of EUR 249 million
The military counterpart of the AIVD is the MIVD
– the Military Intelligence and Security Service. AIVD and MIVD are both
partners in the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU), that was established in 2014.
Over the years, the AIVD has gathered an impressive collection of spy and
crypto-related equipment, some of which are on display throughout the AIVD
headquarters in Zoetermeer (Netherlands). Unfortunately, these items can
not be viewed by the general public. A small selection of these items is
on public display though, in the
AIVD's online museum.
➤ Visit the AIVD Museum
AIVD museum items on this website
Some of the objects in the AIVD Museum
– or similar ones – are also available on this website:
Subject to the governing laws (Wiv - Art.8:2), the taks of the AIVD have
been defined as follows, each named after the corresponding label in the
- Domestic Intelligence
- Background checks
- Foreign Intelligence
- Risk and threat analysis
For the collection of intelligence, the AIVD uses the following methods,
each of which is bound by the Intelligence and Security Law
(Wiv – Wet op de inclichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten):
- Observations and surveillance
- Covert operations
- Computer hacking
- Telephone or internet tapping
- Untargeted communications interception and analysis
- Traffic analysis (metadata)
In the past, the AIVD had 9 units and 2 business units, but following a
reorganisation in 2014, it now has a Central Staff and three Directorates,
effective from 1 January 2015:
This directorate is responsible for processing and analysing the information
gathered by the Operations Directorate, and producing reports from
it. The directorate has several desks, each of which covers a specific
theme or geographic area.
This directorate is responsible for all operational activities and for
the actual gathering of information from a
variety of sources, for further processing by the
It has the following divisions:
This directorate is responsible for the internal business operations, but
also for carrying out security investigations into the background of
people in trusted and security jobs. The directorate comprises the following
- Background checks (business unit)
Nationaal Bureau voor Verbindingsbeveiliging (NBV) — the
National Bureau for Communications Security — is the
Netherlands National Communications Security Agency (NLNCSA),
responsible for the communications security of the Dutch Goverment
and for advising potential users on communications and ICT security.
It is located at the AIVD headquarters.
The NBV was established in 1960 as the successor to the Code Coordination
Bureau (CCB), which in turn was established shortly after
WWII, in 1945.
It was the executive organ of the Nationale Verbindingsbeveiligingsraad (NVBR)
— the National Communications Security Council — and was initially an
independent entity under the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
In 2001, the NBV became part of the Dutch General Intelligence Agency (AIVD),
and was relocated to Zoetermeer (Netherlands).
➤ NBV website
➤ List of NBV approved products (off-site)
Below are the Dutch classification levels for information security,
along with their English equivalents. Note that information from the
Dutch government is prefixed with 'Stg.', which means Staatsgeheim
(State Secret) .
Stg. Zeer GeheimTop Secret
Stg. Confidentieel, VertrouwelijkConfidential
Departementaal vertrouwelijk, DienstgeheimRestricted
The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for
the AIVD. Oversight is provided by three bodies:
Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden
Preemptive review board for the use of special powers by intelligence services, appointed
by the Second Chamber of the States General.
Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Retrospective oversight committe, appointed by the Second Chamber
of the States General.
Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services, consisting of the leaders
of all political parties represented in the Second Chamber of the States
Until 2009, the Socialist Party (SP) was not (and did not want to be)
part of the CIVD.
The predecessor of all Dutch intelligence services was GS-III – section III
of the General Staff of the Army – which was established in 1913, just before
the outbreak of World War I (WWI). During the interbellum – from 1919 to the
outbreak of World War II (WWII) in 1940 – it was a combined civil and military
intelligence service, operating under the name CI
– Centrale Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service).
Nevertheless, in literature the CI is often still identified
The work of the CI was terminated by the outbreak of
WWII, at which time the
Dutch Government-in-Exile in London established the CID – Centrale
Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service), which was renamed
BI – Bureau Inlichtingen (Intelligence Bureau) – in 1942.
For the remainder of the war, the BI worked closely together with the
British Secret Intelligence Service
The diagram below shows the complex history of the Dutch intelligence services,
in which the civil intelligence services are shown in yellow, and their
military counterparts in blue.
In 1942, the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service (NEFIS) was
established in Australia – in 1948 renamed Centrale Militaire Inlichtingendienst
(CMI) (Central Military Intelligence Service). The CMI was eventually dissolved
in 1950, after the declaration of independence of the Dutch East Indies.
After World War II,
the BI was transformed into the short-lived
BNV — Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau) — which
became the CVD – Centrale Veiligheidsdienst (Central Security Service)
in 1946. At the same time, a separate foreign intelligence service was
established, which became known as Buitenlandse Inlichtingendienst,
whilst the armed forces (Navy, Army, and Air Force) each
established its own service, known as MARID,
and LUID respectively.
was renamed BVD – Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (Domestic
Security Service) in 1949, and would keep that name for the next 53 years.
In 1988, the three military intelligence services were merged into the
MID – Militare Inlichtingendienst (Military Intelligence Service),
and in 1994, after internal turmoil, the tasks of the
foreign intelligence service IDB
were taken over by the BVD.
As a result, the BVD
became responsible for domestic and foreign intelligence.
In 2002, after passing the new Intelligence and Security Act (Wiv), 1
the BVD was renamed
AIVD – Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and
Security Service), whilst it military counterpart
was renamed MIVD – Militaire Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (Military
Intelligence and Security Service). Although AIVD and MIVD have different
responsibilities, they work together in a number of fields – such as in the
Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU)
– which is now located at the AIVD premises.
In 2015 it was decided to move both services to a new – common – premises by
2022, but in July 2019 it was announced that this has been postponed until
Wiv = Wet op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten.
(Intelligence and Security Service Act).
1961Koos Sinninghe Damsté
1977Pieter de Haan
1988Arthur Docters van Leeuwen
1997Sybrand van Hulst
2002Sybrand van Hulst
For many years, the logo shown below at the centre was used as the
coat of arms of the AIVD.
It is a stylised form of the coat of arms of its predecessor, the BVD, which
also included the Latin text Per Undas Adversas (against the flow).
It pictures three fish swimming against the flow. Several versions
In 2015, following a government-wide style harmonisation, it was replaced
with the rather uninspiring blue logo with the Dutch coat of arms shown at
- Louis Einthoven, Tegen de stroom in...
- Frans Kluiters, De Nederlandse Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Den Haag 1993. Supplement: 1995.
- Dick Engelen, Geschiedenis van de Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst
ISBN 9012082501. Den Haag 1995.
- Chris Vos, De Geheime Dienst: verhalen over de BVD
ISBN 9085061814 (with DVD). 2005.
- Dick Engelen, Frontdienst: De BVD in de Koude Oorlog
- Eleni Braat, Van oude jongens, de dingen die voorbij gaan...
A social history of the Domestic Security Service (BVD) (Dutch).
ISBN 978-90-9027081-4. Internal publication, Zoetermeer, May 2012.
- Wikipedia, General Intelligence and Security Service
Retrieved August 2019.
➤ Dutch version
- NOS, AIVD en MIVD verhuizen zeven jaar later dan gepland
Website: NOS.nl, 1 July 2019.
- AIVD, Tijdlijn van de AIVD
Retrieved August 2019.
- Wikipedia, Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst
Retrieved August 2019.
➤ Dutch version
- S.J. van Hulst, Op weg naar een Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst
Militaire Spectator, Issue 170, November 2001. pp. 587 — 592
- Wikipedia, Militaire Inlichtingendienst (Nederland)
Retrieved April 2020.
- Nationaal Veiligheidsarchief / inlichtingentingendiensten.nl
Buro Jansen & Janssen. Retrieved April 2020.
- Paul Huz, Afluisterpraktijken
Homow-Universaliz, 13 June 2007.
- Wikipedia (Netherlands), Geclassificeerde informatie
Visited 28 Oct 2022.
➤ English version
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 24 August 2019. Last changed: Friday, 21 July 2023 - 06:57 CET.